Today was a very American day.
I put Macy in her car seat. I got in the car. I drove to a mall. I parked my car in a very convenient spot. I got out of the car. I grabbed the stroller from the truck. I pulled Macy out of the car seat. I put Macy into the stroller. I strolled into the mall.
Wow. America is awesome.
Anyway, today was take your picture with Santa day. Macy didn’t know that (because I didn’t tell her), but I was excited to take her picture with Santa. Today (Friday) was the last day before the school-age kids get out for break, so I figured today was the day to go to avoid the long lines. Since we’re getting up super early anyway (today she was up at 3 am again), it was no problem to make it to the mall by 9 am.
We waited behind three other children (not bad at all). While we waited, Macy said hi to the little girl in front of her who was 3 years old. My mom and I talked a little bit to her mom and before we knew it, it was almost our turn.
I put Macy down to look at some flowers and she got her first look at Santa. (Granted, she has seen Santa before – last year I brought her to have her picture taken, but she was only 7 months old). He waved to her. She said bye-bye. This was my first sign that we were not very excited about having our picture taken with Santa.
After seeing this white-bearded man, Macy wanted me to hold her. She never wants me to hold her. This was bad sign number two.
My mother-in-law offered to go buy a cookie. I took her up on it – we were all hoping that Macy would eat the cookie and not be afraid of Santa.
With the cookie, her giraffe, and a new book in tow, Macy and I approached Santa. And the death grip began. Sign number three.
I tried to peel her off to put her in Santa’s lap. This was NOT happening. Macy started to cry. Uh oh.
This is where the magical elves stepped in. These people are impressive. They must watch child after child be afraid of Santa and yet their parents desperately want a picture with their child and Santa. They try distracting for a minute and when that doesn’t work, they have a strategically placed giant “present” (huge wooden box, I’m sure) right next to Santa. They had me sit on the giant box sideways and put Macy facing forward in my lap. I put one arm behind her and Santa put his arm on top of mine so that it looks like he is holding onto her.
I thought for sure this would never work. Macy was still fussing, but was doing much better in my lap instead of Santa’s. Mom and Jeanette were making faces trying to get her to smile. Finally, one of the “elves” jingled some really loud jingle bells, which got Macy’s attention and made her smile. The other elf snapped the picture right at the exact moment that Macy smiled. Success. Like I said, I was very impressed.
If you look really closely, you can tell Macy’s eyes are a little red. But it totally looks like she is sitting in Santa’s lap! Wow.
Today was a very American day. 🙂